November 2018 Goals

And Ryder pretends to be a lumberjack

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I’m a lumberjack and I’m okay..

When I was a little kid I thought my dad was a lumberjack. He looked just like one! He had a big full beard and he wore plaid shirts and work denim and he’d split and haul firewood for our wood fireplace. With his sharp axe he was the rugged spitting image of a lumberjack, and yet I never understood why, when I told him he looked like a lumberjack, he’d immediately start singing Monty Python.

Now, to this day, I can’t hear the word “lumberjack” without that song playing in my head. I should probably move on to more sensitive comedy sketch songs, but nope, I think that one is going to be with me my whole life - for better or for worse.

And now Ryder looks like a lumberjack. LumberRyder? Lumberjyder? Ryderjack? Rumderjack? Ugh, there’s not a cute portmanteau, but you get the point. But first you have to get through the October recap before you get to see Lumberjack Ryder! Or…oh…okay. Well, I guess you could just scroll down and look at the pictures. Fine. Don’t read any of my writing, it’s fine. Fine. Fiiiiine. All that work for naught. I see how it is.

I’m a lumberjack and I’m okay…

October 2018 Goals

Ryder and pineapples! This was originally the monthly picture for August, but I didn’t write any August goals. Or September goals. So now it’s the monthly pic for October!

Ryder and pineapples! This was originally the monthly picture for August, but I didn’t write any August goals. Or September goals. So now it’s the monthly pic for October!

Haha my mom wasn’t too impressed with the pineapple pictures for last month. “Liz, pineapples don’t go with October!” she exclaimed.

“Mom,” I said, looking at her very seriously, “Pineapples are appropriate any time of year.” And I mean it! From my pineapple mountain bike shorts to my pineapple planner to my post-run frozen pineapples to my cravings for dried pineapple when I’m backpacking, pineapples are always in season in my book.

But yeah, maybe pineapples were a little weird for October goals. Aaaaaaand it’s back to catching up on actual goals now! Here’s how I did for October.


Post three times a month. I did this! Barely. I posted my October goals post, the Fleet Feet Saucony Demo Event, and the Tuna Run 200 race report.

Type up five pages of fiction writing. Nope, didn’t happen. I’ve been negligent.

Compile my e-book. Also a big failure. ❌❌❌😭😭😭


Play with some fall lighting/colors. I did some of this with some event coverage and what-not but I didn’t do as much as I’d like. Granted, peak fall foliage near me is happening RIGHT NOW but half the trees are already naked while the other half are colorful. So really I should be outside playing with fall lighting/colors RIGHT NOW. What am I doing sitting here?! I should be outside before it’s too late!!

Have fun with some fall family portrait sessions! It’s that time of year, yay! I did some family sessions in October and have more booked in November!


Run 125 miles! So I had this big idea that if I really pushed it and crammed in the miles these last couple months I could crank out my first 1000 miles in one year. I mean, it sounded like a cool idea. Previously the most I’d run in a year was something around 400 miles, and this year I set a resolution to hit 800 miles in a year. Well, I’ve already hit that goal and I started doing the math and thought maayyyyyybe I could push it and hit 1000 miles this year. But I was a bit ambitious and more than a little naive, and after racing back to back weekends with the Tuna Run 200 relay and Marine Corps Marathon…well…I was hurtin’. So I’m backing off from being too aggressive with mileage, and this month I covered 98 miles. It’s not 125 miles, but I figure 98 miles is perfectly respectable.

Race Tuna 200 Relay! Yay! It’s my favorite race! I did this in the middle of October and, as usual, I had a blast! My race report is up and available here.

Race Marine Corps Marathon! I survived my first road marathon!! Yay!! I ran the Marine Corps Marathon up in Washington, DC and did respectably for a first-time marathoner. It’s a little weird getting excited about 26.2 miles though since I’ve already done an ultramarathon that was 31 miles, but both my marathon and ultramarathon were fun and difficult in different ways. I’ve been lax recently, but I promise to get a race report up for both the Table Rock Ultra 50K and the Marine Corps Marathon asap!


Go on at least one "Sunday Stroll" hike. When I made my October goals, I looked at my schedule and knew I wouldn’t be able to do one of these until November, but I still set the goal for myself as a placeholder. (Is it bad to set yourself up for failure? Probably. But my main motivation here was to remind myself to make time for this in November and not let this goal slip off my radar.) Sure enough, this didn’t happen in October, but I’m looking forward to some local hikes in November.

Lead the RhoTREATS group! Hooray, another successful trip! We were originally planning to go to Elk Knob and camp out for a night but a lot of people had some last minute things come up that wouldn’t allow them to be gone the whole weekend, so instead we day hiked at Medoc Mountain, which is much closer. It’s always fun getting a group together to hike!


Climb at least once a week. I was pretty close to this goal. I climbed 3 times in October (once a week except for the last week), but I climbed multiple times right at the start of November, so if I can juuuuuust slip one of those early November climbs into October then that counts, right?? ;)

Keep working 5.9 routes. I did this. It’s hard to stretch into a tougher grade, but I’m really trying to push myself.

Keep sending V1s and working V2s. I still haven’t been bouldering much. My one climbing partner prefers to top-rope when we climb together to take advantage of having a belayer, and my other climbing partner and I usually go super early in the morning before work and that’s before the main bouldering section at our climbing gym opens for the day, so I haven’t been doing much bouldering. When I do though, I specifically try to work V1s and V2s.

Other Fitness

Try out a new yoga studio. Didn't do it yet. This will stay on the list though until I get it done!

Get 7 hours of sleep each night. Haha nope. I’ve been a zombie for most of October, but that’s kinda why I made this goal for myself. I’m a horrible insomniac who lives off caffeine, but I’m trying to be better.

Get ready for indoor soccer. Oooh that’s coming up! I’m ready in the sense that I got the team registered and we kinda have a roster ;) I need to make some final updates, but our first game is this weekend! Wish me luck! Hopefully this year I won’t get a concussion! (I’m only slightly joking.)


Start planning a trip to France! Haha does telling people “I’m going to France next year!” count as trip planning??


Read two books! I only finished one book in October: Running Man: A Memoir of Ultra-Endurance* by Charlie Engel. I listened to this audiobook on Audible mostly while running and it was a pretty fascinating memoir. Engel has a life story that is jam-packed, from battling drug addiction to getting clean to adventure racing to ultramarathon racing to running across the Sahara Desert to serving a stint in federal prison for some messed up real estate deals via his broker. It feels like Engel has lived half a dozen lives in his one life, and I was regularly struck by our few degrees of separation. Engel spent part of his childhood in Durham, he went to UNC Chapel Hill for college, and he’s lived in Greensboro as an adult, and whenever he referenced these places it always seemed to be a place I knew. Heck, I even know his accountant that he talks about multiple times in the book! And then when I told people I was reading (okay, listening to) this (audio)book, it turns out we have friends of friends in common?! Seriously, how do I get an introduction?! Engel, if you’re out there, let’s go for an (easy) run together because I’d love to hear more about your adventures.

Engel also talked about adventure racing, which is basically spending a weekend or more (sometimes even multiple weeks) on a team doing a series of crazy adventures like mountain biking, horseback riding, kayaking, running, climbing…you name it! Imagine The Amazing Race but on steroids and out in the wilderness with no modern amenities. To be honest…it sounds like my dream! I’ve regularly joked that I want to find some triathlon that isn’t just swimming/biking/running but is something like kayaking/mountain biking/climbing or something crazy. And apparently those exist!! OMG OMG OMG WHERE DO I SIGN UP?!?!

So yeah, that’s the book I read this month.

Fix the roof. You know what’s not fun? Doing adult things. (That’s basically to say…I didn’t do this adult thing.)

Look at grad school options. I’ve looked quite a bit, and I kinda have an idea of what I want. Now I have to do the hard part and do some detailed research to find what I need.

Spend less than I earn. Ooooooh haha tricky tricky, that’s a new sort of goal for myself. I’ve got to admit, I am not the sort of person who is really strict on money. That’s not to say I am extravagant though. My first job out of college I was squeaking by on pennies and I’ve always lived within my means, but that’s always been an organic process. So technically, yes, I did this, congratulations go me! But the ultimate goal right now is to figure out how much I’m spending per month and what I’m spending my money on, so I’m starting to collect that data. So I’ll keep tracking for now.

Encourage people to get out to vote. Oh hi!! Elections happened!! I voted - did you?

Okay! So what's in store for November?!

November 2018 Goals

“I’m a lumberjack…”


Post three times a month. You know how I was super excited about not drowning at work with this huge project I’ve been working on all summer? I had a brief break and could focus on other things while another group worked on their part of the project, but the ball will very soon be back in my court. It’s alliiiiiiive, IT’S ALLLIIIIIVVEEEEE!! Cross your fingers I don’t lose my mind in the coming weeks. 😜

NaNoWriMo? I dunno, with my big project getting resurrected (or at least my part on it getting resurrected) I’m a little anxious about committing to NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month. The gist is you’re supposed to take one month and knock out writing a novel, which is no small feat. (It doesn’t have to be perfect, the goal is to just get a draft done.) Then again, I’d really love to participate in NaNoWriMo properly some year. Why is it always November though?! Don’t they know November is crunchtime to get work done before end-of-year deadlines? Don’t they know people get all needy around the holidays and you have to spend half of November seeing family and friends and planning holiday parties and organizing the office Secret Santa and cooking up pumpkin pies? Ugh. This is terrible terrible timing, but I so want to participate! We’ll see how this goes.

Compile my e-book. I ought to wrap this thing up I guess. Can this count as NaNoWriMo?!


Play with some fall lighting/colors. Don’t you just love fall foliage?

Have fun with some fall family portrait sessions! It’s that time of year, yay!


Run 100 miles! I feel like that’s doable. I’m not trying to hit 1000 miles, but I’m curious how many miles I can comfortably do now that I’ve already surpassed 800 miles this year.

Race Run RDC! That’s coming up this weekend! Though I’m still undecided whether I’ll do the half marathon or full marathon distance. I feel like that’s going to be a game day decision.

Run 2 trail long runs! I miss running trails! Trails make me happy. Plus I’ve got a trail marathon coming up in December so I’d like to get some long trail runs done before that.


Go on at least two "Sunday Stroll" hikes. It’s hiking time! I’m looking forward to some local adventures again.

Plan my next backpacking trip. You know what I haven’t done much of this year? Backpacking. It’s too late in the year for great backpacking weather now, but I might try to sneak in a winter backpacking trip.


Climb at least once a week. We’ll see how well I do this, since I haven’t been great about climbing regularly recently.

Keep working 5.9 routes. Practice practice practice.

Keep sending V1s and working V2s. Gotta push myself. Try hard!

Other Fitness

Try out a new yoga studio. This will stay on the list though until I get it done!

Get 7 hours of sleep each night. Or maybe I should sleep instead of write a blog post…

Get ready for indoor soccer. That starts this week!!


Start planning a trip to France! Haha I ought to plan!


Read two books! Hehe. I’m already halfway there. (Is that cheating?)

Fix the roof. Aka hire someone to fix it. We might have a guy coming soon. Maybe. Ugh.

Look at grad school options. Put together an analysis of potential schools. Or at least create the analysis structure and identify must-have items. Or maybe I’ll just make a list of must-haves and call it a day. #adulting

Keep tracking expenses and how I spend money. You can’t fix what you don’t know, right? Gotta gather that data before I can get some insights!

Survive and thrive at work. Gotta keep my sanity through the end of this year.



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